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Crisis after crisis – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th February 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 February 2022 13:56

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51864640720/sizes/m/

 

Teachers have threatened to stay away when state schools reopen on Monday. They say they can’t afford to return to work and want to be paid in US dollars because of the collapse in the value of the Zimbabwe dollar (see: https://www.news24.com/fin24/economy/teachers-too-poor-to-return-to-work-as-zimbabwe-schools-reopen-20220204 and https://www.newzimbabwe.com/no-us-dollars-no-work-teachers-tell-government/).

 

The currency weakened by 7.4% last month after losing a third of its value last year. ‘The Zimbabwe dollar will be in the graveyard by June’, predicted Gift Mugano, executive director at Africa Economic Development Strategies, a Harare-based consultancy.

 

At a recent seminar in Harare, the businessman Nigel Chanakira asked one hundred chief executive officers if they were willing to use the local currency. Only one raised his hand (see: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/africa/zimbabwe-dollars-second-death-seen-as-only-a-matter-of-time-2/).

 

Whether by coincidence or prescience, the Leeds City Museum in the UK is featuring Mugabe’s $100 trillion dollar note in a new exhibition focusing on the evolution of money over the past century. The note was released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe’s world record setting hyperinflation which eventually reached 89.7 sextillion % before the coalition government dumped the local currency in favour of the US dollar (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/uk-museum-to-showcase-100-trillion-zimbabwe-dollar-note-at-new-exhibition/),

 

That move was engineered by Tendai Biti, the coalition’s finance minister and now the Vice-President of Chamisa’s new Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC). Biti and others have condemned a Zanu PF proposal to impose sanctions on opposition parties and civil society organisations for criticising the government.

 

‘Zanu PF is not the sheriff of this country; they can’t take the law into their own hands. We will defend ourselves as we have always defended ourselves,’ Biti said. ‘This thing about sanctions is ridiculous, we know the sanctions in Zimbabwe and that is Zanu PF. We know those who stole our diamonds, those who steal our United States dollars at the auction floor and those who are stealing millions of dollars through corrupt deals, so we will not be fooled or intimidated by anyone.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/02/were-unfazed-by-sanctions-threats/.)

 

The dire state of the economy and the totalitarian ravings of Zanu PF are not the only threat to Zimbabweans. There is also the pressure on Zimbabweans in South Africa to leave the country, accused of taking the jobs of locals. In the latest setback, the South African Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has withdrawn the waiver allowing Zimbabwean students to apply for permanent residence permits. In all, there are estimated to be about 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa (see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/more-woes-for-sa-based-zimbabweans/).

 

Other points

  • The Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Martin Rushwaya narrowly escaped spending a night in jail for contempt of court. He was giving evidence in a corruption case involving former cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira, who is accused of abusing her powers. Rushwaya refused to give an answer to one question and the magistrate threatened ‘I will detain you in custody and see you tomorrow when you have sobered up’. Rushwaya claimed that Mupfumira had no written down duties and responsibilities so did not violate any specific duty! (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/02/top-ed-aide-risks-overnight-detention-in-graft-trial/.)
  • Because of concerns about the Covid Omicron variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators suspended the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. Activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720296466884 for today’s photos. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry and Nolanga Ndlovu who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 
Chamisa appeals for Ramaphosa’s help – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th January 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 January 2022 14:08

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51849581907/sizes/m/

 

 

Nelson Chamisa has appealed to President Ramaphosa’s government not to ignore the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe by ‘burying its head in the sand and having an ostrich mentality’. He was talking to the South African national broadcaster SABC on a visit following the launch of his new party Citizens’ Coalition for Change.

 

Chamisa said his former party the MDC had been infiltrated by Zanu PF. ‘The basket of bad apples has now been flushed out. We are left with purity. I must thank Mr. Mnangagwa for the splendid job to take away those who have been retarding progress, those who want money, those who want opportunities, those who want trinkets and trappings of office. We are on a mission, an emancipation project, a freedom project to free Zimbabwe. We are doing everything to make sure that no stone, no corner is left unturned. We don’t want the ballot to be replaced by the bullet.’

 

Appealing to the South African government, he said: ‘Zimbabwe is broken. Let us fix Zimbabwe. We need the support and helping hand of Africa. South Africa must come to the show. Help us to resolve our fundamental issues. Support the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe. It is not about a political party, Zanu PF. Zanu PF has ceased to be a vehicle for the emancipation of the people’. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/dont-have-an-ostrich-mentality-chamisa-to-ramaphosa-on-zim-crisis/.)

 

Zimbabwe’s human rights record came in for strong criticism at a UN meeting in Geneva. The executive director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Musa Kika, interviewed by Newsday, said torture was one of the main issues. ‘More than half of the countries that spoke raised the issue. Zimbabwe has refused to ratify the convention, yet torture is quite prevalent in the country. There is torture in detention, torture done by the police when they are doing their patrols, torture done by the army, we have torture that is outside the State institutions, the political side, opposition activists have been tortured, and our laws in Zimbabwe are not adequate.’

 

Asked about the presentation at the meeting by Justice Minister Ziyambi, Kika said: ‘Unfortunately, the national report turned to whitewashing the human rights situation. It was painting a glorious picture of human rights in Zimbabwe. That national report alone, without reading other reports or without knowing the situation in Zimbabwe, you would think that Zimbabwe is heaven on earth.’

 

‘It reported mainly on what government was doing, sometimes inaccurately. There was very little emphasis on what government has failed to do or has neglected deliberately. For example, there was a statement that no single journalist has been arrested for practising journalism. We know that is not true because there are several reports that have been made about that. We now have the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Bill which has been gazetted and seeks to restrict the work of CSOs. Government did not even speak about the effects of that Bill. It went on to claim that the Bill was created after widespread consultations, including the civil society. We know it’s false, none of us in the civil society were ever consulted. There were several other lies and misleading statements in the report.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/01/interview-african-countries-must-condemn-zim-atrocities/.)

 

Confirmation of Musa Kika’s comment on the bad treatment of journalists in Zimbabwe came in another report in Newsday about the harrowing experiences of Zimbabwean journalist Jeffrey Moyo (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/01/i-was-jailed-for-practising-journalism-and-the-nightmare-is-not-over/).

 

Other points

  • The government’s release of US$1.3 million to the MDC under the Political Parties’ (Finance) Act has led to new infighting between the party’s two leaders’ Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe who argues that she should get the money because Mwonzora had recently claimed to be the leader of Chamisa’s MDC Alliance and the Supreme Court had ruled that it was not a political party! (see: https://cite.org.zw/i-regret-working-with-mwonzora-khupe/).
  • Support from the Vigil has been voiced by members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament. Members expressed opposition at proposed restrictions on noise at public gatherings and argued that Zimbabweans in the UK should be allowed to continue peaceful demonstrations outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London even if their singing and drumming makes life a little uncomfortable for the Embassy (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/make-mnangagwas-life-uneasy-through-demos-uk-mps-urge-zimbabweans/),
  • Because of concerns about the Covid Omicron variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators suspended the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. Activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720296309809 for today’s photos. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Nolanga Ndlovu who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
‘Time to hold Zimbabwe to account’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd January 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 January 2022 16:33

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51838280899/sizes/m/

 

A coruscating report on Zimbabwe by a Johannesburg-based social and political commentator says it is high time for SADC to hold Zimbabwe to account. The writer, Tafa Mhaka, says it is not sanctions that are keeping Zimbabwe in a permanent state of crisis but its own government.

 

Mhaka was sceptical about President Ramaphosa’s promise on the recent 110th anniversary of the ANC that South Africa would promote democracy and economic development in Africa, particularly in the SADC region. ‘The ANC’s continuing reluctance to honestly talk about, let alone do something to address, the economic and political crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe – despite it also having consequences for South Africa – is raising questions about the sincerity of the party’s self-declared resolve to find “African solutions to African problems”.’

 

Mhaka added: ‘Indeed, the entire SADC seems willingly blind to the damage the Mnangagwa administration is inflicting on Zimbabwe and the wider region with its ineffective economic policies and oppressive governing methods . . . While SADC leaders can preach about mysterious imperial plots and pretend there is no debilitating political crisis in Zimbabwe, they simply cannot do away with the victims of oppression and bad leadership on the ground: the hundreds of thousands of migrants compelled to seek sustainable economic opportunities and jobs in SADC countries, especially in South Africa . . . Today, there are credible fears that the government and the Zimbabwe Election Commission are conspiring to limit new voter registrations for the 2023 general and presidential elections – and the SADC, as usual, is silent on such an injustice.’ (See: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/1/19/sadc-cannot-continue-to-ignore-zanu-pfs-many-failings.)

 

Zimbabweans in South Africa are said to be ‘worried and tense’ over reports of fresh xenophobic attacks there. The Chair of the Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum, Gabriel Shumba, said most foreigners in South Africa felt under siege. ‘We call upon the SADC and African Union institutions to protect foreign nationals’ rights as previous experience has indicated that there either is an unwillingness or inability to act sooner rather than later.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabweans-tense-over-fresh-sa-xenophobic-threats/.)

 

As preparations are made for by-elections to fill vacant parliamentary and local government seats, the US Embassy in Harare has said that the government has failed to live up to its promises to create an environment that is conducive for free, fair and credible elections. It said many continued to question the independence of the Electoral Commission (see: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/rest-of-africa/us-pressure-on-zimbabwe-over-electoral-reforms-3689160).

 

Zimbabwe has been ranked among the worst in the global rule of law index compiled by World Justice Project. It said it was among the ten worst countries in ‘constraint on government powers and open government regulatory enforcement’, among other indicators (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/01/zim-ranked-among-the-worst-on-rule-of-law-report/).

 

Other points

  • Because of concerns about the Covid Omicron variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators have decided to suspend the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. To participate in the Virtual Vigil, activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. For today’s photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720296157623. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Joyce Mbairatsunga and Nolanga Ndlovu who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 
Mwonzora puts his case – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th January 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 17 January 2022 13:27

  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51824144169/sizes/m/

 

The MDC T leader Douglas Mwonzora emailed the Vigil  to complain that we had been mistaken in last week’s diary about his reaction to President Mnangagwa’s by-election announcement, in particular the reference to him rushing to a meeting with the President (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/1190-election-fever--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-8th-january-2022).

 

Here is his email: ‘Thank you for your newsletter on the election fever in Zimbabwe. At the onset, I wish to protest the content of this article. You seek to create an image that I rushed to State House after the announcement of the election dates in order to discuss the same with President Mnangagwa. This is a false narrative. My meeting with President Mnangagwa had nothing to do with byelections at all. In fact, the meeting had been scheduled to take place two days before but was deferred by the President himself. I met the President as part of our strategy to push dialogue in Zimbabwe. While some political leaders think that dialogue is a waste of time we believe that it is the answer to the polarisation that has afflicted our society. It is a pity that you would publish the story wherein you cast serious aspersions against us without even caring to hear our side of the story. We are sure that you are very much aware that in this case, we had the right of reply to the allegations. Contrary to what you seek to portray in your article, some of the things discussed at the meeting was the need for social, political, and economic reforms in Zimbabwe, the need to operationalize the constitutional provision relating to the youth quota, poverty eradication, unemployment, devolution, inequality, loss of social protection and the erosion of pensions in our country, governance, and corruption. We also discussed the need for electoral reforms including the Diaspora vote in our efforts to remove the disenfranchisement of Zimbabweans living abroad. We, therefore, demand the right of reply to your article.’

 

The Vigil wants to be fair to all parties. We rely very much on the Zimbabwean media for information and by and large have been impressed by the standard of journalism now practised.

 

In another development Mr Mwonzora said he was pleased after a chance encounter with two leading members of Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, the Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume and Makomborero Haruzivishe, who has just been granted bail after spending nine months in a remand prison on kidnapping and violence charges (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mwonzora-says-encounter-with-pro-chamisa-mako-cordial-pleasant/).

 

Other points

·       The UK Home Secretary (internal affairs minister) Priti Patel has annouced that asylum seekers in the UK will be able to work as carers if they have been waiting for more than 12 months in the UK for permission to stay. The UK is very short of care workers for old and disabled people and this should help many Zimbabweans to get legal work (see: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/01/14/asylum-seekers-can-work-care-homes-priti-patel-rule-change/#:~:text=Up%20to%2032%2C000%20asylum%20seekers,more%20than%20a%20year%20waiting).

·       Because of concerns about the Covid Omicron variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators have decided to suspend the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. To participate in the Virtual Vigil, activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. For today’s photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720295994388. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Joyce Mbairatsunga who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

·       For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

·       The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.

·       Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Mwonzora puts his case – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th January 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 January 2022 14:10

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51824144169/sizes/m/

 

The MDC T leader Douglas Mwonzora emailed the Vigil  to complain that we had been mistaken in last week’s diary about his reaction to President Mnangagwa’s by-election announcement, in particular the reference to him rushing to a meeting with the President (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/1190-election-fever--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-8th-january-2022).

 

Here is his email: ‘Thank you for your newsletter on the election fever in Zimbabwe. At the onset, I wish to protest the content of this article. You seek to create an image that I rushed to State House after the announcement of the election dates in order to discuss the same with President Mnangagwa. This is a false narrative. My meeting with President Mnangagwa had nothing to do with byelections at all. In fact, the meeting had been scheduled to take place two days before but was deferred by the President himself. I met the President as part of our strategy to push dialogue in Zimbabwe. While some political leaders think that dialogue is a waste of time we believe that it is the answer to the polarisation that has afflicted our society. It is a pity that you would publish the story wherein you cast serious aspersions against us without even caring to hear our side of the story. We are sure that you are very much aware that in this case, we had the right of reply to the allegations. Contrary to what you seek to portray in your article, some of the things discussed at the meeting was the need for social, political, and economic reforms in Zimbabwe, the need to operationalize the constitutional provision relating to the youth quota, poverty eradication, unemployment, devolution, inequality, loss of social protection and the erosion of pensions in our country, governance, and corruption. We also discussed the need for electoral reforms including the Diaspora vote in our efforts to remove the disenfranchisement of Zimbabweans living abroad. We, therefore, demand the right of reply to your article.’

 

The Vigil wants to be fair to all parties. We rely very much on the Zimbabwean media for information and by and large have been impressed by the standard of journalism now practised.

 

In another development Mr Mwonzora said he was pleased after a chance encounter with two leading members of Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, the Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume and Makomborero Haruzivishe, who has just been granted bail after spending nine months in a remand prison on kidnapping and violence charges (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mwonzora-says-encounter-with-pro-chamisa-mako-cordial-pleasant/).

 

Other points

  • The UK Home Secretary (internal affairs minister) Priti Patel has annouced that asylum seekers in the UK will be able to work as carers if they have been waiting for more than 12 months in the UK for permission to stay. The UK is very short of care workers for old and disabled people and this should help many Zimbabweans to get legal work (see: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/01/14/asylum-seekers-can-work-care-homes-priti-patel-rule-change/#:~:text=Up%20to%2032%2C000%20asylum%20seekers,more%20than%20a%20year%20waiting).
  • Because of concerns about the Covid Omicron variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators have decided to suspend the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. To participate in the Virtual Vigil, activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. For today’s photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720295994388. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Joyce Mbairatsunga who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

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